Starting with a layer cake (or two) to make your half square triangles gives you an ever-so-easy variety of fabrics without collecting yards and yards. You can make half square triangles (HSTs) from a Layer Cake using a variety of techniques, so you can make them two-at-a-time, four-at-a-time or eight-at-a-time.
Layer cakes are ten-inch (10″) precut squares of coordinating fabrics, generally from a line of fabrics by a particular designer. Generally, they come in packages of 42 – 5″ squares.
Layer Cake Half Square Triangles Cheatsheet
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- Two at a time, you’ll trim to 8-1/2″ and finished square is 8″, making 84 eight-inch blocks from one layer cake package
- Three at a time, you’ll trim to 6-1/2″ and finished square is 6, making 168 six-inch blocks from one layer cake package
- Eight at a time, you’ll trim to 4-1/2″ and finished square is 4″, making 336 four-inch blocks from one layer cake package
Layer Cake Half Square Triangles Two at a Time
Looking for a quick and easy quilt project with a modern look? Purchase two coordinating layer cake packs, then turn them into half square triangles two at a time. If you only use layer cake 10″ squares, then you don’t need to trim the blocks down – they will all be the same size.
Half Square Triangles Four at a Time from a Layer Cake
I prefer to make my half square triangles either two at a time or eight at a time, as when you make them using this method for four at a time, the edges are on the bias. You can see more about making half square triangles four at a time.
Start by layering two layer cake squares on top of each other, right sides together. I am using solids, so both sides are the “right” side.
Sew all four sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Then cut diagonally in both directions to make four half square triangles. Here is the first cut:
Then the second cut:
If you are making a quilt with only the half square triangles made four at a time from a layer cake, then you can go ahead and use them without trimming. If you are using them as part of a larger block, then you will want to trim them to the size you need. These trim nicely to 6-1/2″ for a 6″ finished block which work well for 6″ blocks, 8″ block (when combined with some 2″ blocks) and 12″ blocks.
Here are the finished half square triangles made four at a time from a layer cake.
And a few layout ideas to use your half square triangles from a layer cake.
Half Square Triangles Eight at a Time from a Layer Cake
Making eight half square triangles eight at a time is a quick and easy way to make a lot of blocks from the same fabrics. When you use layer cakes, you can easily have coordinating fabrics without having to purchase a lot of yardage. Read more about making half square triangles eight at a time.
First, mark one of the layer cake squares with diagonal lines on the wrong side.
Sew 1/4″ on each side of each of the diagonal lines, right sides together. Here is sewing the first seam.
Then sew 1/4″ from the second side of the line:
Next, turn and sew one side of the other line:
Then sew the fourth seam:
Now it is time to cut the half square triangles. First cut exactly down the middle of the square, through the intersecting seams.
Then, cut the other direction down the middle, forming four (4) pieces.
Then cut each of these along the marked lines, between the stitching lines, to make your half square triangles:
Here are the eight half square triangles from two layer cake squares ready to be pressed and trimmed.
If you are making a quilt with only half square triangles made eight at a time from layer cake squares, no need to trim. If you’ll be using these in combination with other blocks, you’ll want to trim them. These trim nicely to 4-12″ to be used as a 4″ finished quilt block size.
Here is the finished trimmed block ready to use!
All eight (8) half square triangle blocks trimmed and ready to use from two layer cake squares.
Layout options for the blocks:
Want to learn more? Check out these other posts on making half square triangles:
- How to Make Half Square Triangles Two at a Time
- How to Make Half Square Triangles Four at a Time
- How to Make Half Square Triangles Eight at a Time
- How to Make Half Square Triangles from Charm Packs